Jedi and the Threat to Democracy
Malicious wrote: I think this thread should of been called "why you should hate Trump " . Personally I am a trump supporter and most of what was said is actually fake news and can also be debunked .
Well feel free to debunk, with credible sources, anything I say about Trump. I actually want that. What I don't want is to just be told "I can debunk that", but.... then don't and pass it all off as "fake news". I don't care if you think its fake news. I care what you KNOW. And knowledge implies accurate information. I have no problems with people contesting the accuracy of my information but don't surround yourself in a bubble and ASSUME everything I say can be debunked without actually debunking it. Because why give me rhetoric in response?
Why say "he's trying to get corrupt politicians to adhere to the law" if there's no actually supporting information to back this up with? How do you KNOW? I understand that you BELIEVE this. But how do you KNOW? This is where I think we need to be able to hear the other side and not automatically rush to defend "our guy". Because the reality is, Trump doesn't know you. He's turned against most of the people he's hired in government. It's mostly REPUBLICANS at this point, telling you that he's corrupt. But you believe he's fighting corruption? Again... I understand this is your BELIEF... but how on earth do you KNOW? And why are you so sure and so willing to say this on his behalf?
You talk about tax payers. Why wont Trump reveal his taxes? But let's not even go there. I consume politics on a daily basis. You suggest I'm taking Trump's words about shooting people out of context. Here's the problem with that. And I really want you to think about where this information is coming from. It's coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!
There were SEPARATE OCCASIONS in which Trump talked about shooting them. And how do we know what he said at all? Who is he talking to? He's talking to his own aides, people who should have a bias to tell whatever version of the story that makes him look the best. The fact they're telling the story AT ALL goes against their own self interests and the idea that the main stream media is making it up to attack him. And if he didn't say it at all why would his supports always come back later with some story about what he really meant... only after getting caught.
Trump wanted to militarize the border. We have pictures of families being tear gassed with children around. They basically kidnapped children, according to Trump's own people, "as a deterrent". And then the fact is lost on people that a lot of these people are asylum seekers and that there is a legal process in place for allowing them to come in to seek asylum. That doesn't happen with them being kept outside the border in the desert. Trump says the press has gone crazy but they are reporting things Trump's own people are telling them.
And because there are big number of people seeking asylum, that doesn't make them criminals. Trump uses fear that they're going to take your job, to make people think they're bad and so whatever 'bad' thing happens to them as a result... is "good"? What if it was YOUR family that was trying to escape the drug gangs in South America?
Again, this is why we need these conversations because I feel like this is where the Jedi in the movies went wrong. They didn't go wrong because they "got involved in politics" as they often brokered peace treaties and things too which are also political. And Palpatine didn't NEED the Jedi to be involved for his plans to work. Not at all. The Jedi were getting in the way of his plans and he used Anakin to destroy them and their influence. And when Obi wan was trying to talk sense into Anakin that the Jedi were defenders of Democracy, Anakin didn't listen to him because he believed what Palpatine said over the Jedi. "Fake news" That's HIS words!
And again, this cult-like ability to influence people in this way, to question and to think the opposite of people trying to do good for themselves and each other, is shared between Trump, Hitler, and Palpatine. They all poison us against each other. And in the movies it caused the Jedi to be perceived as trying to conduct a coup when in reality they were trying to prevent a corrupt politician who was also a sith from gaining absolutely power. And who was right? And Palpatine used the separatists just like Trump is trying to use foreign governments; even in attacking his own FBI, CIA, saying they were wrong about Russia. and the free press. So how long will we see all these things happening and just pass it off as politics as usual? Bush didn't do the same thing. Sr or Jr. And people supported Nixon too, even into impeachment. But just wait for it. All his dirt is coming out as we speak.
"trying to get corrupt politicians to follow the law"..... smh
Fyxe wrote: Zealot, do you support open boarders then? like no national boarders at all and just let anyone come and go as they please?
That's a lie by the right! This is why we need to have these discussions. We, of all people, who believe in the Force, who talk or should be talking about balance... we above all others should know that it isn't about extremes. Because that's where the partisan argument takes us. Either the border is shut so tight that even legal asylum seekers cannot even get through. Or the border is so open and inviting that we roll out the welcome mat for gangs and terrorists.
And understand... I have nothing against you. I just know where that argument comes from. I know its a question, so thank you for not stating it as my opinion, and thank you, sincerely, for asking, but I just wish EVERYONE would assume the middle ground first before extremes. And that's not aimed at you at all, but rather Fox news and all these media outlets and talking heads on the right that try to fear monger and provoke a sort of ideological supremacy by making arguments like this as if it they are true when literally no one on the left is saying it. It's basically a strawman argument where the strawman is the scarecrow from the wizard of oz. It's not even remotely accurate to the same world! And yet, these "sources of information" are trusted to tell us what the other side is thinking. How the hell do they know? They want you to think they're well informed and talk about the other side as if they're constantly talking to people who are saying this stuff. But it's not true. Like... at all.
My father immigrated legally. He waited in line and he got in. America is a country of immigrants but there was also a time when settlers simply came here and they bought and stole the land. For the Native Americans, they were "invaded" by people who literally stole their land and now these same people, capitalists, are worried about competing with people who can't or can barely speak English, for jobs. And I'm sorry that I can't fully understand everyone because I'm not worried about Mexicans flooding my industry. But more than likely, it wont be those immigrants you'll be competing with. Your children will compete against theirs and... market forces... as well as others... will favor your children above theirs but will still give them opportunities to have the American dream like it did for me.
I'm not afraid. Why should you be? Does that mean I want open borders? No. The system should be as FAIR as it can be to ALL interested parties. And that means it should take a person's need and situation into account. The same way that Christian settlers were welcomed into America fleeing religious persecution, I expect the descendants of those people to welcome others who are fleeing persecution and who could die if they stay. Being the richest nation in the world should mean something. It should mean that we have a larger capacity to help our family, our friends, and our neighbors. And I agree with Jesus when he was asked "who is my neighbor" and he basically told a story that said it's anyone you come into contact with.
Jedi are and should be a global society. I want to be be treated the way I treat others. The more we do that the safer the world we leave behind us. But if we can only be afraid for ourselves and only think about our own job and our own situation then we don't deserve to be called "great" at all. Make America great again? More like make America afraid again by protecting weakness and mediocrity. Can you imagine a Jedi that doesn't protect anyone but themselves? Such a thing would be an embarrassment to anyone carrying a light saber. So no, I will never play into the fear of Donald Trump or anyone else trying to predict what will happen to me if we help people in need. We weren't helping our own people LONG BEFORE there was ever an influx of immigrants; legal or not.
Where ever you go, there you are. Make the best of it.
Fyxe wrote: Ok that was why I asked Zealot lol. so you dont want open boarders and you say that crossing the boarder is a misdemeanor no different than people jaywalking in a street. jay walkers get a ticket. so how do you think we should handle the misdemeanor of illegal boarder crossing? give them a ticket and let them go?
I think that's the actual legal process for this already, or at least you're really close.
I mean, pre-ICE, militarized southern border; that was procedure when it was just border patrol down there.
Kelrax "Stormcaller" Lorcken, Jedi Navigator
May The Force Guide You
I mean do you honestly believe an illegial that crosses a boarder and just gets a ticket would go.. Oh my! I better get back to my country right now! do you think that? how else would they stop the crossing other than by keeping them and putting them back?
Where ever you go, there you are. Make the best of it.
Where ever you go, there you are. Make the best of it.
The conversation thus far has been pretty broad, so I'm going to address as briefly as I can some random points that caught my attention.
ZealotX wrote: If you've thought of a hundred reasons why they're wrong or I'm wrong, then that's good.
I welcome that too, in terms of any of my original text posted here. It's a lot more valuable to test and refine our perception of the truth than to prove ourselves "righter" than someone else; well-reasoned dispute allows that to happen.
ZealotX wrote: I believe that if you're a Jedi looking for something to do or some way of serving, I think we need to start getting ready to play some defense against foreign countries trying to influence our elections in 2020. I will personally be doing battle with Trolls and whatever else they send our way. And if there's enough interest I may create a FB group to help identify accounts, flag suspicious content, and coordinate defenses against their talking points.
I also thing that is important. A related but different concern is the need to defend our voting apparatus from interference both foreign AND domestic. Allegedly, there were substantial numbers of ballots diverted from counting stations to warehouses in the 2016 primaries, and our electronic voting machines in their current state have been proven to be hackable in minutes by 11-year-olds. The 2020 election has the potential to be a disastrous mess if we are not careful.
I would be interested to learn more about the Facebook group if you create it.
ZealotX wrote: The last thing the GOP wants is a new generation of legal immigrants. Because even if the parents are illegal, if the children are born here they are legal and will become eligible to vote eventually. When you combine this with the negative birthrates and the fears of some people about whites losing the majority in terms of demographics, what you really end up with is a sort of whisper quiet white power message that is actually resonating. It's just that a lot of people call it "white nationalism". In reality, it means white control over the nation. And they are afraid of having too many black and brown babies as brown people have the highest birthrate. But it shouldn't be about race. It should be about who has the best policies for America and everyone who legally lives and works here.
This is kind of crazy, isn't it? I'm white. I fail to see why it matters if most of the people around me are some other shade any more than it matters if they have more hair, stubbier fingers, or bigger ears than me. I have never understood the importance that so many people place on skin color.
ZealotX wrote: And I think at this point, its about power for them. And its not just because red vs blue. No, its because corporations in the US are legally considered people. And so we have massive corruption in the form of legal bribery. So they're doing what their donors want, not necessarily what the American people want. And this isn't untrue for Democrats. There are plenty of Democrats that have been bought and sold like cattle. That's the real reason why hardly anything can get done because its mostly getting done, and not getting done, on behalf of corporations. Corporations know they can use one party for certain things and the other for other things. Each congress person (and they're not all corrupt) considers how many votes they may lose if they vote in favor of the corporations.
This creates a certain amount of motivation to stay in power, regardless of ideology, so that they can keep getting paid off.
I remember Ralph Nader trailblazing the making of this point in the 2000 and 2004 elections. He noted that some corporations actually financially contribute to both partisan candidates opposing each other in various political races, so whomever wins will owe the businesses favors ... hence leading to Democrats and Republicans often looking little different from each other. I think it was Jim Hightower who first said that legislators should be required to wear NASCAR racing uniforms with patches sewn on naming all of their corporate donors, so we could tell where their real loyalties reside.
Kobos wrote: One of the most substantial threats to the democratic process as can be proven through history is the control and dissemination of information. What I mean is look at what the media does (on both sides) where does this play into this narrative?
Blogger Caitlin Johnstone frequently emphasizes how important the issue of who controls the dominant political narrative is in shaping our political outcomes. If you are interested in this theme, I recommend checking Caitlin out.
Kelrax Lorcken wrote: Illegally crossing the border... is a misdemeanor.
"Jay-walking" is against the law, but the public would be justifiably irate if a law enforcement agency began assaulting people, kidnapping and killing their children for doing it, especially if it was endorsed so openly and enthusiastically as present by the commander in chief.
I did not know this! That fact further heightens the extremeness of our recent response in America to southern immigration.
CaesarEJW wrote: Trump is purely a symptom of the underlying issues; rampant ideological bias/blindness (on both sides of the aisle), an unreliable political system promoting uncaring and dishonest officials, and a wide-spread corporate oligarchy using underhand means such as lobbying (WHY IS THIS LEGAL) to twist the laws to their own selfish benefit and our detriment.
That is so true. Roughly 30% or so of the electorate seems to be unquestionably loyal to Trump. Trump made neither them nor the more fanatical of their opponents; these people have been present, though submerged, for quite a long time. Trump has just opened a door allowing the full expression of what previously was suppressed resentment.
TheDude wrote: In the US, we do not have a democracy. We have a representative republic. That is to say, we have the foolish notion that individual "leaders" can and will accurately represent the will of the people and be free of self-interest and be immune to corruption and so on and so on. … I support democracy, yes, actual democracy -- I see a representative republic as a sham of a system which can only result in more Trumps, more Obamas, more Clintons, more Bushes. "
Our Constitution does indeed provide us with a representative republic. But whether it's referenced as a republic or democracy, there is a growing body of evidence that this is not what we have anymore. A few years back Princeton University published a research paper comparing the characteristics of our goverment to traditional definitions for political structures; the paper concluded we now live under an oligarchy, or the rule by a small number of elites. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has explicitly made that same claim, more than once.
Malicious wrote: Trump isn't a Hitler of sorts if anything he is trying to get the corrupt politicians to adhere to law .
I hope I can disagree here without indicating disrespect. Online political chats so very easily slide into arguments into who is the most stupid, and I wish for that not to happen. I trust that you are participating here because you recognize that the state of affairs in American this centurty (at least) is not what is should be, and so do I.
That said, the evidence I see does not speak of a President who is trying to weed corruption out of politics. His former advisers Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, Michael Cohen, and Paul Manafort have all admitted to at least one serious crime, and two of those figures (Gates and Manafort) have confessed multiple crimes. I understand that there are Democratic politicians who also can rightly be accused of criminal behavior, but for Trump's own part this is a larger group of criminals tied to a President that I have seen since Watergate.
Malicious wrote: If I did something illegal I would go to prison so if someone comes here illegally I would expect them to be in prison as well . Trump has no problems with immigrants but if they come here illegally then they need to be in prison then sent back to there home country and come here legally .
As others have noted, illegal immigration is a misdemeanor. If we are going to treat it on a par with other misdemeanors, sentencing would be light. Our recent response to legal asylum seekers - imprisonment, poor physical care, family separation, and deportation - does not imo describe someone who has no problems with immigrants.
Malicious wrote: They take American jobs , and taxpayers money without paying taxes or contributing to the economy .
I get this to a degree. I saw a lot of jobs go to foreigners in the 1990's and early 2000's, and I know firsthand the anxiety and even anger that can arise when you are under constant fear that the next one may be yours. But when it comes to illegal immigrants (as opposed to workers in offshore factories, call centers, and offices), the American jobs they tend to take are less-than-minimum-wage positions that often involve grueling and seasonal work in agriculture - jobs that American citizens literally do not generally want, given the wages and working conditions.
Also, net of everything, illegal immigrants who manage to stay in the U.S. contribute more to the federal budget than they take out. Despite not having Social Security numbers, FICA taxes are withheld from their pay, but they are not eligible for benefits without a Social Security number ... so many get none of their contributions back. Other forms of welfare also require an SSN number, so illegal immigrants are not eligible.
Malicious wrote: Also sorry if this comes out aggressive or hurts ones feelings but it needed to be said . MTFBWY !
Likewise! I know I am pushing back on your views pretty hard here, but like you I do not wish the debate to be personal. The views of those of us in American are becoming wildly divergent these days, and while we have to set our course based upon our own values and ability to reason, to prevent our social fabric from splitting apart at the scenes we have got to enhance our ability to talk to each other when we disagree. I honor your willingness to speak out here when it undoubtedly feels like yours is a minority opinion.
ZealotX wrote: … Trump has supporters and defenders. That's okay. However, I'd like to know WHY that support exists and that it still is capable of seeing what he does wrong. Or put simply, have you drunk the koolaid to the point of cult member status where you believe everything he says? And is it POSSIBLE... that the truth is somewhere in the middle?
Yes. I've been in a few conversations recently outside of Temple forums bemoaning the tendency of some people toward dogmatic thinking - including people who generally see things much as I do. Whatever our political leanings may be, it's vital that we be constantly open to the questioning of our own assumptions and allowing for the possibility that maybe we are wrong. It's also critical that we learn to rely on facts more than ideology, and accept our uncertainty when facts that are desired are not available.
Americans seem to be really into sports. Most people seem to have a favorite football or basketball team and you're kind of expected to have one. I feel compelled to have one just because I feel left out of a lot of those conversations. And when people have a team, whether they're playing well or not, that's still your team. If there's a flag on the play you don't get mad because they did something against the rules. No, you only get mad because they got caught and it may cost them points. If the referee doesn't call the foul and your team scores as a result, if its your team you don't get mad at the ref. Only if its the other team do people tend to complain.
Having a team makes people feel part of it. People will buy the jersey and other merchandise, supporting the team. People invest in the future of that team and talk about players that might be drafted or traded.
When you apply this same kind of mentality to politics, I think this is where the "fight" comes from. Because we're used to teams competing. And yes, politicians are clearly competing against each other to win. One of the things Trump said during the campaign that I think was effective was that "you're going to get tired of winning". He wasn't talking about a specific policy but rather just the idea of "their team" winning. Could it be the same thing? Could it be that we derive a sense of satisfaction and victory when "our team" wins and that this feeling can be weaponized?
Red vs Blue... Even as colors, they seem to be rivals. And so, I'm thinking maybe that's why people have to assume you're either one or the other... either you're red or blue... and maybe to some extent... this is what people are expected to be.
And I get it. I don't really have a football team, partly because I don't really watch football, because I don't really have a football team. I'm not invested. I don't feel anything when one team beats another. That's how a lot of people feel about politics. They don't care because they don't feel invested in either "team". And often this, unfortunately, means that they don't vote either.
People can't vote for a player on "the other team" and must vote for their own team instead almost without regard to where that candidate stands on any particular issues because we often don't know where they stand except in general broad strokes and there's too many of these "players" to keep track of individually. So this is why it does make sense to have teams in politics to a certain degree, but this is also the downside; because what if your team changes on you? What if they start doing things you don't like or don't agree with? How much loyalty do you have towards them? How much are you invested in them winning?
It's funny. There are some people (on the red team) that just don't understand why black voters overwhelmingly support the blue team because they used to be on the red team. Possibly the biggest voice in the crowd is a black woman named Candice Owens. And honestly, she confuses us and frustrates us because it's like her family just didn't get the memo. The reason black voters switched is because, in reality, ISSUES are the bottom line. We don't just "ride or die" with a party because we like their color. And we're not against the other party just because they used to be against us or support the wrong issues. When it comes to what impacts the lives of average African American families, in the beginning the Red party was the best... ON THE ISSUES.
But we didn't have the same issues as white voters.
But yes, we can acknowledge the fact that the Blue party was very racist. However, a party isn't the building that it's at. It's the people. That's why when you go to a restaurant they ask how big is your "party". The red party started appealing to white voters on the same issues of race that the blue party was against us on before because their voters were, many of them, bigoted. So we were voting against racist white supremacists on the Blue team. Eventually, as more racists started joining the Red team the message changed more and more to suit them. At the same time fans switched parties, their representatives reflected the fans and so the racists were basically leaving the Blue party to be Red. And so black people were like "well we're not red or blue. We're black. So we're going to keep voting against the racists and white supremacists." And so that's what happened. There was no conspiracy. Everybody just saw the same thing and switched their votes. The Red team had decided there were more whites, demographically, so if they could appeal more to them (which is "identity politics") then they could keep winning because in a democracy its all about the numbers. The Red team wasn't loyal to their black members so their black members left.
Why is any of this relevant to you today if you're white?
If you're white the Red team definitely wants your vote. And therefore they're more likely to support issues they think you care more about. But it almost assumes that whites are racist or xenophobic to some degree. And what happens is, that whites who are in the middle, who aren't far right in terms of racism or xenophobia... the hope is that they will ignore these things and vote for smaller government, lower taxes, maybe gun rights, etc. So its like playing cards. They have a number of issues to try and capture the majority of votes. But they are only as loyal as how much it benefits the leaders of the Red team. Because if they can use the Red team to get lower taxes for themselves then they may not mind if the Red team adds to the racial divisions in America. If they are getting money from the gun industry then they may not care if there's a few mass shootings a year... or a month. What I'm getting at is that they are loyal to "green" the way that black people will vote against either party if they are voting against "black issues".
So this is how it gets more complicated. Because while one voter may think its about red vs blue and they are loyal to their team, the coaches and managers and owners of the team are like, "hey we just want to win because hey.... green (money)", and that might mean to hell with our voters who happen to be black, Mexican, or whatever else just like the Dallas Cowboys probably don't give a crap what I think whether I'm a fan or not. They have enough fans and if they win they know they'll get more. And to some extent you almost have to have some green to keep red or blue winning. So for the Red team, this could mean selling out to white nationalism and the gun lobby and big oil and the religious right. On the blue team this could mean selling out to wall street, globalism, and supporting LGBTQ and Civil rights. The blue team complains how the red has sold out. And the Red team complains about how the blue team has sold out. And it seems like, at the end of the day, its a wash.
Of course its not a wash if you're LGBTQ and its not a wash (not because the Blue necessarily does wonders for you) if you're black. And so there are all these little conflicts over ideas and ideologies and there are all these trade offs. So it really can be frustrating and confusing when it comes to what team you should be on.
I say, choose your own side. I think the Jedi were like black voters. I'm not trying to offend anyone with that statement, but if that offends you then... wow. But they were like black voters in the sense that they stood for principles and ideals. They weren't Red or Blue. Their loyalty was to ALL People and that's why Obi wan said what he did. And Anakin wasn't for "ALL people" because his mother was killed by "sand people". We can basically compare "sand people" to modern day Arabs. Think about it. Anakin didn't just blame one sand person. No, he blamed them all and so he slaughtered them all. When Trump says "their rapists, their murderers" no he's not saying all Mexicans are that, but what he is suggesting is that you should be afraid of ALL of them because you don't know which one of them IS a rapist or a murderer, so its like saying they all have the potential to be. And while that's true, it is extremely racist because guess who else has a HIGHER potential to be a rapist and a murder according to this exact same logic.
Ultimately, the place I hope we all get to... eventually, is a place where we fight against bad ideas REGARDLESS of which party is putting them forward. This is why I like Progressives because they're not really loyal to either party. They stand for certain ideals in general and so stuff like racism or religious persecution or any kind of genocide isn't going to ever be okay. And they're going to fight for the environment, education, fair wages, etc. because they're trying to make progress against the same desire of those on BOTH teams who are more loyal to "Green" (sorry Green party, not talking about you even though I like you but it would confuse my message), that stunts this growth and progress.
The red team may act like its against globalism but its not. Why? Green. So while they may support the Red team and while they may say globalism is bad, these same people are also replacing workers with machines. And I work at a place where this has already happened and is happening. So while you may be afraid of the Blue team because you don't want to compete for jobs against people in India and China, the Red team doesn't mind if you can't get a job at all because you're competing with R2D2. And they don't want to entertain conversations about Universal Basic Income or social programs that might protect you from this because why? Green.
And so if I debate you or push back on you, its not and is never because I'm Blue team and you're Red. I'm not playing that game. Its because of the issues and the future I want for ALL Americans and for the world. If members on the Red and Blue team have to give up more of that Green that they are so protective of, so that we can save lives and improve the quality of life for thousands of people... then that's what I support. And if you're hording millions of dollars at the expense of other people when that money CAME from other people? Then sorry, but not sorry, I'm going to vote against your "interests". Money only works when it is flowing through the economy. When 2% of people have all the money its like a body with cholesterol blocking arteries. It's NOT healthy and many cells are going to die because they can't get access to the resources they need to survive.
So I don't necessarily want to debate Red vs Blue. Truth is they both suck. Trump was Blue team before he was Red. The only reason he's so partisan now is because he wants to win. But that doesn't mean he wasn't racist when he was on the Blue team from 2001-2009. That was just 10 years ago. What happened at that time that could have possibly made Trump switch parties? Could it be the election of Barack Hussein Obama in Jan of 2009? So it should be clear that Trump isn't loyal to a party but rather to himself and his own ideas. And he's changing the Red team around him and his own ideas. That's how we got Steven Miller who has just been confirmed as a racist white supremacist. And that's how we got Bannon until he was just too crazy to work with. So when I talk about Trump, I'm honestly not trying to slam the Red team just because Trump is the leader of it (for now).
I actually think Trump is the worst thing to ever happen to the Red team and that it was better without him. What party was Sidious? Does it even matter? Same with Trump. It doesn't matter to me. What matters is him destroying our democracy and credibility in the world. And that's not what the Red team is doing (as if they're working together). That's what HE is doing and the people he can rope into helping him. But he's also working against Red team players in the state dept, the justice department, the FBI, the CIA, he's hiding documents and blocking witnesses from testifying, etc. We need to get beyond Red or Blue and be our own Jedi team by supporting our own ideals and issues and discussing them and voting against whoever opposes us on our issues. Does that make sense?